tv NBC Nightly News NBC January 17, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
here again at 6:00. >> see you then. on this saturday night, day of rage. the violent move protest over published images of the prophet muhammad as europe remains on high alert and the new editor of that french satirical newspaper defends its work. on the run, the manhunt in several states for a teenage couple who authorities say has been on a crime spree for two weeks and may be armed. "american sniper" immortalized the oscar-nominated film how the navy s.e.a.l. saved countless american lives on the battlefield still has their backs. and born comedians. why there may be a lot more to how babies make us laugh. from nbc news world
headquarters in new york, this is "nbc nightly news" with lester holt. good evening. this has been a day of violent outrage across parts of the muslim world provoked by the work of the same french publication targeted in last week's paris massacre. the angry protests erupted after "charlie hebdo" again published a characature of the prophet muhammad. in algeria they burned the french flag chanting, i am not charlie, i am muhammad. two days of rioting have left as many as eight people dead after christian homes were looted. this weekend of rage comes as european security forces continue to hunt down terror suspects following last week's bloodshed in france. bill neely once again leads off our coverage from paris. bill, good evening. >> reporter: good evening, lester. this crisis started with a
massacre at a small magazine here in paris. the aftershocks are now spreading around the world. there have been violent protests in a dozen muslim countries. police are still questioning suspects across europe. troops are patrolling here in france and in belgium. there is fear in europe and fury elsewhere. france once ruled west africa, today serious crowds burned churches and killed. french citizens were warned to stay home. the mob crying for revenge after "charlie hebdo" once again printed cartoons of the prophet muhammad. in north africa, algeria police struggle to contain crowds. thousands enraged in another former french colony. the muslim backlash spread to the middle east. in jordan protesters carried pictures of the paris killers. in pakistan, a french consulate was the target. protests in almost 20 muslim countries.
french president hollande said today, the protesters just don't understand france's attachment to freedom of speech. demand for the new "charlie hebdo" has surged. copies reached new york, 7 million have now been printed. it used to sell 50,000. in belgium, police are examining evidence that the two armed men they killed wanted to target stores that sell the magazine. a muslim cleric told me islamic radicals are only a tiny minority in belgium, but troops there are taking no chances. on the street for the first time in decades protecting jewish areas. in britain too police are now guarding jewish schools and synagogues. >> this is not a time for panic. it's a time for heightened awareness, but not to be running around and to be very scared. >> reporter: jews in germany have historic reasons to fear.
police here are still questioning several suspected islamists. muslims are rallying globally. europe is rattled. a more arrests and grief tonight. the scope of this crisis is extraordinary with police, radicals and protesters now confronting each other across europe and of course well beyond. lester. >> all right, bill. thanks. among those killed in the attack on "charlie hebdo" is the paper's editor and chief. tonight, the man who replaced him is speaking out in his first interview with an american television network. he did so with chuck todd for tomorrow's "meet the press." chuck joins us tonight. chuck, no doubt he is watching all this reaction we just showed. what is he saying about it? >> well number one, he's unapologetic about what they do. and he tries to defend and tries to explain this line on what they do with their satire. his explanation, for instance
on going after religion, is he doesn't go after the believers. he says they're not attacking people's personal religious beliefs. what he says they do is they only go after religious figures or religious leaders when religion is being used for political gains and political purposes. so his argument is their satire and their use of muhammad is not aimed at muslim citizens. it is aimed at radicals who are using muhammad for their own political gain. it's a very nuanced argument. it was a fascinating conversation. i got a lot more, obviously, from there. including his reaction to the pope's criticism, lester. >> chuck, thanks. remind folks you can watch chuck's full interview with the new editor in chief in "charlie hebdo" on "meet the press". there is a manhunt going on in several states tonight for a young couple from kentucky who have allegedly been on a crime spree for two weeks. they may be armed and are considered dangerous. the girl is just 13 years old. we get that story tonight from nbc's kristen dahlgren.
>> reporter: for sherri peters, this isn't a hunt for a so-called teen bonnie and clyde, it's a search for her 13-year-old daughter. >> i've called her every day. i've texted her, cheyenne, please come home. i love you. i miss you. >> reporter: police say cheyenne phillips and 18-year-old dalton hayes are on a crime spree across several states. nothing violent, but they worry the teens now have two stolen handguns and could be getting more brazen. >> the more they try to flee from the police, the more dangerous the situation becomes. >> reporter: phillips was first reported missing on january 3rd. the same day hayes changed his facebook status to engaged. they stole two trucks, ditching one and using the other to flee kentucky. on january 12th they were spotted at a south carolina walmart buying mints and allegedly cashing stolen checks for $40. days later this truck was found abandoned in georgia, while another truck one like this with two guns in the back was taken from a firefighter.
then friday reports they may have been seen in florida. police say they are also investigating leads in other states. >> obviously our worst fear is that they use the gun. our worst fear is that they don't stop when police get behind them. >> reporter: when he's caught, hayes could face charges for luring a minor away from her guardian. his mom says she hasn't heard from him since this text january 6th. i'm fine and safe. i love you. my number one hero. >> dalton and cheyenne, you know, your families love you, miss you. we want you home. >> reporter: a mother's plea as the race continues to find the two teens on the run. kristen dahlgren, nbc news, new york. it may be too soon to say that he's back, but mitt romney is showing some strong signs that he may be contemplating a third run for the presidency. nbc's kristen welker is at the white house with more. hi, kristen. >> reporter: lester, good evening. romney didn't say outright he's running for president, but made
it clear he's seriously considering it. the former republican nominee sounded a lot like a candidate knocking out a platform and directly attacking potential democratic candidate hillary clinton and president obama for what he called their devastating foreign policies. but the biggest clue may have come when he spoke about his wife, ann, who recently vowed that he wasn't going to run saying emphatically he is "done, done, done." >> she believes that people get better with experience. heaven knows i have experience running for president. she knows my heart in a way that few people do. >> reporter: now, romney also talked about the need to lift americans out of poverty and attempt to turn the page on 2012 when democrats painted him as an out of touch elitist. he fueled that perception with a series of gaffes. still, political analysts note some polls show him ahead so
there are some within the gop who are open to a third romney presidential campaign, lester. >> kristen welker tonight, thank you. overseas, pope francis spent some time meeting with survivors of the devastating typhoon that swept through the philippines a little over one year ago. this as a tropical storm sweeps across the country now and could make for a very wet sunday as millions get ready for a huge mass in manila. our report from nbc's anne thompson. >> reporter: his white robe covered by a yellow poncho, pope francis braved the heavy rains and winds of a tropical storm to comfort the survivors of typhoon haiyan in tacloban. he told them he had to be here. the typhoon killed more than 6,000 people in 2013, wounding physically and emotionally. today, many of the faithful in tears heard francis say they are not alone. and though they may suffer, god will not let them down. the weather cut short the pope's trip.
at the cathedral in palo he apologized for the change in schedule. asking two things of the respectful but boisterous crowd. >> first, pray for me. second be quiet. >> reporter: back in manila where the storm is headed officials are preparing for as many as 6 million people to attend the pope's final mass sunday. throughout the visit millions have jammed the city streets to see him. >> i've been here for six hours already. >> reporter: security has been unusually visible. precautions extending to manila bay, the economic heart of the country. for the 25.5 million people who live in metro manila, this bay is essentially shut down. there's no sailing, no cushing and limited cargo traffic until the pope leaves. this is coast guard commander joel garcia's control room.
the philippines is 80% catholic garcia is a muslim convert. do you feel a special burden to protect this pope who's the leader of another faith? >> no. we're talking about humanity. and it would be a good symbolism for the unity of all religion in the world. >> reporter: sending a desperately needed message of tolerance to the world. here in manila although pope francis is still several hours away, already throngs of worshippers are in place for his final mass hoping to avoid a repeat of the nasty weather he faced earlier. lester. >> anne thompson, thank you. a delegation of six members of congress arrived in cuba today to begin several days of talks on the new relationship that's emerging between cuba and this country. it comes as the u.s. announced new rules this week easing restrictions on travel and business. one month after president obama said he will normalize relations with cuba. and all of it may be easier said than done as we hear from nbc's
mark potter in havana. >> reporter: in colonial old havana, a musical show for tourists from around the world. in recent years performing for more and more american on tours controlled by the u.s. and cuban government. at the historic havana cathedral today, groups of u.s. educators, retirees and veterans taking in the sights, fully supporting the new u.s. travel rules that make it much easier now for even more americans to come see cuba. >> i think that commerce both economic and intellectual, educational, all of these forms can only bring good. >> reporter: but the question everyone seems to be asking, economists, analysts, tour guides and visitors, is whether cuba will actually be ready for a flood of americans. most believe that cuba simply does not have enough hotels or other amenities. >> it's very limited. now cuba faces a dilemma of
trying to create a much expanded infrastructure. >> reporter: while many cubans hope more americans will mean more money coming in, restaurant owner miguel angel morales worries about not being able to serve them all. it will be complicated by the lack of supplies, he says. some of the tourists we met are also concerned. >> my fear is that a lot of americans are going to come and be turned off by the basic quality of the services. >> reporter: cuba also needs to arrange for the use of american credit cards and to negotiate landing rights for u.s. air carriers before it can ever become a major american tourist destination. mark potter, nbc news, havana. when "nightly news" continues on this saturday, a look at the navy s.e.a.l. depicted in "american sniper" and the contribution he made in civilian life. and later, how even babies may be acting out their own kind of comedy routine when they make us laugh.
this year's list of academy award nominated films is heavy on true stories including that of chris kyle, the late navy s.e.a.l. sniper is credited with saving countless american lives in the iraq war. he served four tours only to meet a horrible fate here at home. i met kyle three years ago as he adapted to what may have been his most challenging mission in some ways, learning to serve his fellow troops as a civilian.
with 160 confirmed kills, chris kyle was the u.s. military's most lethal sniper, a number the humble navy s.e.a.l. was quick to deflect when we met in 2012. >> if i could figure out a number of people i saved, that's something i'd brag about. >> reporter: did you have any lingering feelings about taking a life? >> no. every person i killed i have a clear conscience of because they were actively trying to harm americans, allies or their civilians. >> reporter: kyle's story was made for hollywood. >> the thing that haunts me are all the guys i couldn't save. >> reporter: bradley cooper's portrayal of the texan earned him an oscar nomination, a role the actor took to heart. >> i sort of just fell in love with the guy. i just have tremendous respect for what he did. i think that's the main thing about this movie, people that may not know what really goes on with soldiers, what they have to deal with balancing home life and being abroad. >> reporter: kyle's friend and ex-navy s.e.a.l. clint bruce praises the film for shining a
spotlight on the toll the war can take at home. >> coming home's a hard deal. you physically get here and you desperately and urgently try to find ways to bring your purpose back here. >> reporter: chris kyle left the navy in 2009 and returned to texas and found a new purpose in life. >> i just want to be an advocate for the vets to make sure they're taken care of. >> reporter: that's become your big cause right now. >> yes, sir. >> reporter: did you have your own form of post-traumatic stress? >> i think everybody when you come back from wartime deployment you're going to have combat distress. >> reporter: kyle made it his mission to help veterans suffering from ptsd, a decision that would ultimately end up costing him his life. the navy s.e.a.l. was shot to death at a shooting range nearly two years ago, allegedly by a veteran who he was trying to help. since his death his friends and family are paying it forward, some helping other veterans in need like clint bruce does at this gym in dallas. >> every time i go back there and i see a veteran with all of
his limbs or none of them, i think of chris. put perspective that chris in like him gave me is life gave me is i have hard days but no bad days. >> reporter: meanwhile chris's wife continues to build on his legacy launching a nonprofit this past veterans day dedicated to helping the families of military and first responders. >> the foundation is my way of keeping chris's spirit alive. >> reporter: what do you hope people will come away with after seeing this film? >> i think the biggest thing people could come away with is to know that our veterans are appreciated thankfully for what they do on the battlefield. >> this week "american sniper" also received an oscar nomination for best picture. when we come back, after 45 years in captivity, is it time for a killer whale to go home?
she has spent over four decades in captivity, a killer whale named lolita. living in a tank in miami. today, hundreds of people held a rally there calling for her release back into the ocean. we get the story tonight from nbc's gabe gutierrez. >> reporter: she's been the star of the miami sea aquarium for almost 45 years. >> we loved it. >> reporter: lolita, the majestic 20-foot killer whale is believed to be the oldest orca in captivity. >> fabulous. >> reporter: but later this month federal regulators are scheduled to decide whether to declare lolita part of an endangered group of whales. that's brought renewed hope to animal rights advocates who rally today in miami. >> we are here to free lolita.
>> reporter: the push comes after the documentary "black fish" which questioned the treatment of killer whales at a different park, sea world. howard garrett says lolita's tank is too small, 60 by 80 feet with a platform down the middle. >> the conditions are inevitably mistreatment. they amount to abuse. because she's been this confined. >> reporter: he wants to transport lolita to her native waters just off washington state where she and six other whales were captured in 1970. what would it do to this animal if she was moved to the pacific northwest? >> she'd die. >> reporter: robert rose calls the plan a misguided experiment. he points out the real life whale from the movie free willie did not survive in the wild. >> this is her home. this is where she's lived for 45 years. she's interactive. she's healthy. >> reporter: both sides expect court battles as the fight over lolita keeps making waves. gabe gutierrez, nbc news, miami.
hearts out. the truly funny are the smallest among us, effortlessly hilariously, surprisingly funny. >> can you sit on the rainbow mat for me? >> no. >> she can entertain herself and i'm convinced she can entertain any adult. she's really fun. >> reporter: but beyond just making our lives brighter, researchers now believe humor is an important part of a baby's cognitive development. and some say we have underestimated just how serious being silly can be. >> infant humor can tell us a lot about what infants know and about what they know about us. >> reporter: starts with parents being the clown. babies as young as 3 and 4 months old begin to appreciate the ridiculous. and then a switch flips. as early as 9 months old the realization that they can make us laugh too. >> he started performing for me trying to make me smile. and when i smile, he smiles
right back. >> are you wiggling? >> reporter: the highchair is the classic stage. peek-a-boo the universally funny gag. and then there is the tease which my daughter has mastered to perfection. you sneaky monkey, you sneaky mono -- monkey. >> when an infant knows how to get another social partner to laugh, it suggests they know something about that person's mind. >> reporter: two can play at that game. the research suggests learning to laugh may just be one of life's earliest and most important lessons. >> i just think if you can't laugh at yourself or at what's going on in the world, then life just gets kind of boring. >> reporter: anyone who needs a reminder should spend some more time with a baby. stephanie gosk, nbc news, new york. laughing babies, doesn't get
any better than that. that's all we got. that's "nbc nightly news" for this saturday. i'm lester holt reporting from new york. i'll see you tomorrow morning on "today" and right back here tomorrow evening. good night. right now at 6:00 the flu hitting families hard across the bay area. emergency rooms seeing more cases. what you can do to protect your family. good evening to you. i'm peggy bunker. >> i'm terry mcsweeney. alarming news tonight from the
cdc about this flu season. it may be reaching epidemic levels. four adults from the area have died from the flu. victims in san francisco is, san mateo and sonoma counties. marianne favro has more. >> doctors here at kaiser permanente santa clara say they are definitely seeing more people coming into the emergency room with flu-like symptoms. the spike started last week and continued for thisr(e week. we have not seen the peak of flu season yet. kaiser santa clara infectious disease specialist dr. 5q!b&um says he is seeing more patients that need to be hospitalized because of the flu. >> we've seen a busy flu season over the last two weeks. and the er is seeing an increased volume of people coming in with respiratory symptoms. >> dr. blum says a recent cdc report shows the current vaccine is only 23% effective against the strain that is circulating right now.